Former Labor Camp Transformed Into Affordable Housing

Camphora, located in Soledad, Calif., will be a home for its farmworker residents, and provide an environmentally responsible community with onsite management and supportive services provided by Eden Housing.

Camphora AptsSoledad, Calif.—Camphora Apartments, a development by Eden Housing and South County Housing, in partnership with the County and the City of Soledad, has opened.

Camphora provides 44 two- and three-bedroom apartments affordable to residents with annual incomes between 30 percent and 60 percent of the Monterey County Area Median Income. That’s about $21,500 to $43,000 per year for a family of four.

Transforming what used to be a run-down labor camp with concrete block structures, Camphora will be a home for its farmworker residents, and provide an environmentally responsible community with onsite management and supportive services provided by Eden Housing. Monterey County has been working for more than 20 years to find a way to rehabilitate this run-down facility that was built in 1960 as part of the Bracero program.

In partnership with the City of Soledad and Monterey County, the 4.6-acre development includes a new connection to the municipal sewage system, replacing the aged onsite septic system. This required boring under a Union Pacific railway line and Highway 101

The new Camphora includes two large grass soccer fields (replacing the hard-packed dirt lot on which youth and adults played previously) and a half-court basketball. It also includes a 3,000-square-foot community center, a computer lab, and great patio areas for families to congregate and for community events.

The development was constructed using sustainable building methods and incorporates a number of green features designed to ensure its long-term energy-efficiency and sustainability. Camphora received USGBC’s LEED-H Platinum certification, and was designed by award-winning KTGY Architecture + Planning to exceed California energy efficiency thresholds (Title-24 standards) by 38 percent by incorporating features that optimize the building’s energy performance including.